After Watergate Reopens, Here Are 5 Other Hotels With Scandalous Pasts
The Watergate Hotel Complex in Washington. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
The most famous hotel in America had a grand re-opening this week.
No, not The Plaza or The Beverly Hills Hotel or even The Fontainebleau in Miami.
After nine years of renovations, the most famous hotel in the country is back in business – The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Or should we say, the most infamous?
The Watergate, of course, was where the break-in occurred of Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 that set off “All The Presidents’ Men,” the chain reaction that led to the downfall and resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974.
But the Watergate certainly isn’t the only hotel in the country with a shady past. Check out these five.
(In no particular order)
5) CHATEAU MARMONT, LOS ANGELES – This is where James Dean threw himself through a hotel window for his version of method acting while auditioning for a role he eventually received in “Rebel Without A Cause.” This is where actor/comedian John Belushi died of a drug overdose. This is where questionable behavior by actress Lindsay Lohan and singer Britney Spears got them banned (separately).
4) THE BEVERLY HILTON, BEVERLY HILLS – Not too far from The Chateau Marmont, The Beverly Hilton has its own demons. This is where Whitney Houston suffered a drug overdose in the bathroom and drowned in the hotel room bathroom. This is where Democratic presidential candidate John Edwrds was caught meeting with his mistress and their daughter, dooming his bid for top office. And there is where infamous ‘Madam to the Stars’ Heidi Fleiss often had her prostitutes meet clients.
3) ST. FRANCIS HOTEL, SAN FRANCISCO – Three times silent film star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was tried for the death of a young girl after he allegedly sexually assaulted her, resulting in her death four days later. Three times he got off (two hung juries and an acquittal) but this is where his famous career virtually came to an end. This is also where famous jazz singer Al Jolson died in 1950 in the presidential suite after a card game, and where President Gerald Ford was exiting when a woman named Sarah Jane Moore took a shot at him.
2) LAS VEGAS HILTON – Now the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the Hilton was the scene of the infamous Tailhook Scandal in 1991. More than 100 Navy and Marine officers were alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct and assault at the Hilton, forcing women to run a gauntlet of men to get out of their rooms.
1) THE MAYFLOWER HOTEL, WASHINGTON – Arguably one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, it was in room 871 here at the Mayflower where then New York State Gov. Eliot Spitzer was caught with a high-end prostitute, forcing him to resign and spelling the end of his political career.
More by Rich Thomaselli
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